Louisville actor raising money to attend prestigious performing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville actor raising money to attend prestigious performing arts school

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville native was recently accepted into a world renowned acting school, one of just two Americans accepted into the London  Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Now he's hoping the community that helped start his career will help him reach the next level.

Actor Ryan Burch got his start in Louisville when he was bitten by the acting bug at St. Xavier. Burch then headed off to Elon University to pursue a degree in musical theater. Then it was on to New York and touring the country performing before landing back in the Derby City to prepare for grad school. He credits Kentuckiana with starting his career.

"I wouldn't be an actor without this community," said Burch.

Now he's ready to take his career to the next level. Burch is headed to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, a prestigious acting school with notable alumni.

"John Lithgow went there, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Wilson, Richard Harris, Donald Sutherland," said Burch.

Five thousand people auditioned. Burch made it through three rounds of auditions before being one of just 27 who made it in to the program. Only he and one other American will attend in the fall.

"I want to do everything I can to take this chance. It's a wonderful, wonderful blessing and I don't want to throw away this opportunity," said Burch.

Now he's asking his hometown to help him continue his dream. Because he's an American, Burch isn't eligible for financial aid. That means he and his mom are responsible for tuition, which is about $25,000 a year.

"We do have first year's tuition covered, it's a two-year program, so that's good," Burch explained.

That leaves living expenses, which is about $20,000 a year, that he hopes to fund with a GoFundMe page.

"(It's) because of this community, and my teacher is from this community, that I've been afforded this opportunity, and so I owe everything already to Louisville and Indiana," said Burch.

As Burch looks to make a name for himself in Hollywood, his teacher Jon Lee Cope says the community should be proud to help the young actor pursue his dream.

"That means he's on a fast track to being something that the community will be able to say 'Let's put up a giant poster that says "Ryan's Louisville'," said Cope.

If the GoFundMe effort is successful, Burch will head off to London in September, and will be forever grateful to the community where he got his start.

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